Private Collection - Querelle fragrance notes

  • Head

    • iranian black caraway, myrrh essence, cinammon
  • Heart

    • rose, vetiver
  • Base

    • tonka, ambergris, oakmoss, incense

Where to buy

Latest Reviews of Private Collection - Querelle

Querelle, contrary to its 'concept' (marketing brief), is a refined aromatic oriental. Anyone expecting something animalic or dramatic would be thoroughly disappointed. It very much reminds me of Bogart Signature initially; though Bogart develops into mossy-leathery, whereas Querelle transforms into soft, smoky myrrh with spices and a hint of moss. In terms of character it also brings to mind L'Homme Sage by Divine, though the Divine is definitely a notch or two higher in quality and execution.

Querelle begins with a refined citrus accord with a touch of spices, and a nod to many aromatic fragrances from the '70s and the '80s. The resinous character is soon evident from the myrrh, which is laced with a mossy undertone. I get a hint of incense, and hardly any vetiver, though there is an airy quality to it akin to vetiver compositions. The nuanced accord driven by myrrh and incense forms the back bone of the composition, and there is little further transformation over time.

My gripe with Querelle is that it is exceedingly soft on my skin beyond the first hour or so, and wears as an eau de toilette. Its duration on skin is also barely adequate. Otherwise it is a fine scent, more handsome than beautiful, rather conservative and well executed. Anyone interested in something more substantial should try L'Homme Sage by Divine. Though, to enjoy the latter, one has to like saffron, which I do not.

3/5 (neutral)
29th August 2017
Spice. That's everything about this fragrance. It opens sweet, like a pick-up line that makes you laugh, but gets serious quickly. It's all spice and sharpness, with a cinnamon at the forefront, but smells like high summer, not the holiday season.

I'm considering buying a bottle, and my friend was so taken with my response to it she wanted to blind-buy as well. I went hiking 11km in this, in 98F heat, and it was still on me by the end. I would highly recommend this.
14th July 2016

Genre: Fougère

I would have expected something transgressive, or at least animalic, from a scent named after Genet's dark novel of masochistic lust, homosexual rape, blackmail, and murder, but that's not what Querelle delivers. Granted, Querelle projects some of the hyper-masculine swagger embodied in Genet's characters, but it smells to me more of a gentleman's club than of a gay leather bar or a brothel full of randy sailors. I realize that the scent itself is more important than the label, but with such a loaded name, I just can't help wishing for a provocative scent – something along the lines of Muscs Koublaï Khan, Oud Cuir d'Arabie, Kouros, or even Pierre Guillaume's own Intrigant Patchouli.

Instead, Querelle presents a bundle of bitter aromatic notes and sweet bergamot over a mossy base in a highly traditional spicy fougère accord. It's the same in-your-face, macho, ‘70s and ‘80s vibe you get in Yatagan, Azzaro pour Homme, or Balenciaga's Portos. (In fact, Querelle's scent pyramid overlaps very heavily with Azzaro's!) It's an appealing formula, since few scents of this sort are composed nowadays, but I don't feel that Pierre Guillaume has brought anything new to the table with Querelle. If you like this kind of scent, you can get Azzaro, or the even more daring Yatagan for less than a quarter of Querelle's niche market price.
24th June 2014
Picture of wilderness and good mannersQuerelle is a fragrance with that formal aspect which forces you to take it seriously at first sniff. It is like coming across a painting in a museum which you know nothing about, but you immediately feel the respect it commands. Querelle is a depiction of male nature which can not be hid under the polish of grooming and manners. The man described in Querelle is uncivilized. Someone who is able to leave behind his social obligations, and disappear on a month long hunting trip. This man has taste and manners. He can dress well, act confidently, and be gentle in a social setting. However, his manners and taste can not cover up his nature from anyone who cares to observe.Querelle is a vetiver fragrance. It is not a fragrance which is dominated by vetiver as Vetiver Extraordinaire or Etro's Vetiver are. It is not a smooth, minimal vetiver mix as Chanel Sycomore is. Nor is it a deep and ultra complex green fragrance with notes of vetiver as Amouage Memoir Man is. Querelle is a fragrance which uses just enough vetiver to balance out the myrrh and incense notes. Vetiver brightens up the dark oak moss and incense with streaks of green. Vetiver freshens up the earthy accord, preventing it from becoming dusty. Of all the vetiver based fragrances, in Querelle, Vetiver plays the most active role.This is a masculine fragrance, as there is only a trace of florals in it, and a mature fragrance as there is very little sweetness present. No feminine elements. There are no pretty flowers, very little sweetness, no sexy musk. Despite being dry and clean, it is a kind of clean where there is a trace of dirt. A smell of forest lurking underneath the soap. A of adventure and romance underneath a polished appearance. It is old school elegant, but not because of aldehydes or powdery notes, but due to a balance between clean vetiver, green oak moss, tarry incense and sweet myrrh.Review posted at veteverian.wordpress.comPros: Raw and elegantCons: Too cold for cold weather"
24th August 2013
As more and more classic chypres become reformulated I miss that deep, ashy, dry dark brooding that is a hallmark of oakmoss. Querelle has that quality and I like it more and more as the classics slowly disappear to become 'vintage'.
This is a very creative fragrance, using note combinations that are unusual and cerebral, in that my mind is usually trying to tease apart the notes when I wear it. It can never quite assimilate the combination of caraway with the other notes, so it is a dynamic fragrance on me. It shifts from incensy to chypre to bitter to grassy, all in dark tones, but caraway is driving this train.
This has a real timeless quality about it with its own character, which I like. Though I don't wear it all the time, when I'm in the mood for it, it's excellent.
4th April 2013
Well, I like this, but it's a near thing. It comes very close to being too sour or scratchy and dry for me to enjoy. I'm not completely sure what saves it.

It goes on kind of harsh, almost like a chemical smell. But it softens and warms up, and the spices come out a bit. There is something almost salty about it. Most of the fragrances I really enjoy have some kind of sweetness in them, but there is nothing sweet about this. It makes me think of rye bread, or is that just the power of suggestion of the caraway listed in the notes?

After a while it lightens up a lot, and becomes this dry, grassy, somewhat airy scent that I enjoy. I wouldn't call it soapy or even clean, really. Maybe a little metallic, though? I don't even know how to describe this. It's like someone took a traditional men's fragrance and made it sort of abstract. It could almost pass for normal until you pay closer attention.
1st November 2012
Querelle opens up with a citric vibe accompanied by a light vetiver note that within minutes, give space to a black cumin note mixed with cinnamon taking us to a more spicy aspect of the fragrance, but not something overdone.

Here the cinnamon followed by a light incense note appears giving to this particular fragrance, a very nice mysterious vibe, as if the incense was not on my skin, but surrounding me in the environment.

Through time, the base shows up leaving a slightly heavy incense aroma, but again, not something overdone, making me think about L'air du Desert Marocain a little bit.
11th October 2011
Classically masculine, very 80s. Utterly conventional & ultimately uninteresting. Starts with the brightness of mandarin, moves to a hot cinammon & dry myrrh, earthy vetiver & dirty oakmoss. The cinammon decrescendos & you're left with myrrh & bitter vetiver roots on the forest floor. Smells like any number of drugstore aftershaves.
19th February 2011
The ambergris note in the base qualifies this to be called an oriental, along with the myrrh and incense notes. Woods, in the form of vetiver, share the space with the deeper notes. There is a hint of a chypre about it as well, because the citrus and oakmoss make a reference that is not totally subordinated to the dominant oriental theme. Black caraway and cinnamon provide a spicy vibe, and the complete absence of floral notes marks this as a definite "masculine" in terms of traditional gender classifications of scents. The associations with Jean Genêt's novel of murder and raunchy whorehouse sex belie the beauty of this scent – unless you consider, as Genêt did, that murder and raunchy sex can be beautiful...
11th February 2011
A very high quality fragrance from Parfumerie Generale. Maby the most intresting. It reminds me a bit of good old Paco Rabane Pour homme! It`s like a very refined, darker, complex version of Paco Rabane. Very unique stuff, and great for all fragrance connoisseurs. It`s classified as unisex, but I can`t imagine this on a woman.
1st February 2011
Querelle is an pretty intense scent with lovely contrast of sweet and bitter accords. to the extent, the mood is pretty dark and it's by no means our tradional vetiver based scent. the openign accords are laden with (sooty) Incense and sharp spices. maybe black caraway. the accord is pungent in a very sharp way at the same time it's beautiful. it takes this scent least an hour to setle down and that whne the game of contrasts begin. it begins with a soft and sweet note of what was until now a dark scent suddenly shows a bit of sweetness under it's fold..depending on how it wears on one's skin the prominenece of cinnamon and dakr accords of vetiver could vary.It is indeed a strange scent. strange in the most beautifully challenging way. get it while it's still available...a premium release by Parfumerie Generale.
14th August 2009
No, the novel Querelle by Jean Genet is not about masochistic lust, homosexual rape, blackmail and murder as one reviewer has stated. It is about the aesthetical transition of these aspects into holiness! It is known that Jean Genet once had been falsly accused of theft as a child. Based on this trauma, he identified himself with what his contemporaries would consider the evil. In his work, he tried to describe the beauty of this with almost religious addiction.The perfume Querelle has captured exactly this attitude. Yes, it is masculine in a way that it could make one imagine a sweaty sailors body at work. But then, there is also something very "catholic", like clouds of burning incense, myrrh and other narcotizing secret ingredients wafting through the temple of some esoteric cult, dedicated to transfer the worshippers into religous extasy (though, it is not a churchlike incense like in Messe de Minuit). This contradiction is definetely what makes this fragrance be a thrill.I wonder what was first: the perfume that required an apropriate name or the concept of a perfume named Querelle?
23rd June 2009